The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art welcomes families to experience our permanent collection and traveling exhibitions, which feature art from all genres and time periods.

There are many ways to look at art with children. Here are some tips for planning your next visit to the Brooks, as well as a few ideas for follow-up activities.

Before you visit the Brooks Museum:

  • What is an art museum? Talk with your children about what they think an art museum is and what they might see there. There aren't any fish or dinosaurs here; rather, we have sculptures, paintings, photographs, drawings, and even design objects.
  • Explain museum behavior. Look with your eyes, not with your hands. Use indoor voices. Walk, don’t run in the galleries.
  • When available, use one of our interactive Family Guides, which you can pick up at our Visitor Services desk. Or attend a family-friendly program. See our calendar for upcoming events.

 

Looking at art with your children:

  • Please help us protect the art by not touching. The oils from hands can damage works of art. Follow your children’s lead as to what excites and interests them. An hour – or even half an hour – may be enough time. Remember, you can always come back!

  • Play I Spy. Ask your children to find shapes, colors, and objects, or to count any number of things in a gallery or work of art. They can find animals, name everything they see that is blue in one gallery, etc. Take turns describing a detail from a painting aloud while your child stands in the center of the gallery with eyes closed. When your child opens his or her eyes, can he or she find the painting with the detail you described?

  • Journey around the world. Travel around the globe without leaving Memphis. Look at objects from different continents, cultures, or countries. “Visit” a landscape painting to take a swim in a lake, hike up a mountain, or walk in the French countryside.

 

Ideas for follow-up activities:

  • Look for opportunities to reinforce things your children discovered. Mention how everyday objects and things in your home are similar to things you observed in artworks at the museum.
  • Be an art critic. Encourage your children to draw, write about, and talk about the things they saw at the museum. What was their favorite work of art? What didn't they like? Why?
  • Become a curator. Start your own collection at home. Use something your child or family already collects, or build up a collection of something around your house, such as buttons, dolls, toy cars, leaves, or rocks. Think about how you would display your collection and who you might want to share it with.

Community Days at the Brooks

For a fun, free family activity, come to the Brooks! Community Days allow families and friends to experience the museum in a fun, engaging environment. These free events feature art-making activities, events like storytelling in the galleries, musical and dance performances, and family-oriented gallery guides, all designed to engage families with current exhibitions.

Family Guides

Free interactive family guides, which include activities for families to complete both in the gallery and later at home, are created in conjunction with special exhibitions as well as for the permanent collection. Inside these guides families will find questions for guided looking, information on artists and artwork, and suggestions for further exploration. Guides are available at the Visitor Services desk and in the special exhibition galleries. 

Wacky Wednesday – Summer Series 

Our Wacky Wednesday Series provides a creative outlet during the summer for families, day camps, and child care centers with an open artworks studio, gallery guides, and children’s international short films every Wednesday in June and July. 

Please plan accordingly for Wacky Wednesday’s five to one child-to-adult chaperone ratio (five children for every one adult). Sponsored by Thomas & Betts.

Become a member

Experience Brooks Museum and receive all the benefits of a member! Join at the Family level and get benefits for two adults and children ages 17 and under. You'll get free admission to a variety of family programs throughout the year, as well as, a 10% discount on Summer Art Camp and Saturday School programs at the Memphis College of Art. This membership is also available to grandparents to include their grandchildren under the age of 17. Learn more.